Delaware Legislation aimed at settling a bit of controversy involving dogs and whether they should be allowed into outside eating establishments where food is served. The Legislation is now going to the Senate for consideration.
House Bill 275 specifies that the owner of a food establishment may permit leashed dogs in the business’s outdoor patio area or beer garden, regardless of any state regulation to the contrary. The Delaware Division of Public Health inadvertently sparked controversy last summer when it took a renewed interest in an existing state regulation (Delaware Food Code, Chapter 6, Section 501.115) that prohibits pets in food establishments, including the outdoor areas. The ban does not apply to service animals.
This becomes a controversy because of owners of businesses with outdoor eating areas, as well as many dog owners, arguing that the rule was a solution in search of a problem. They maintained dogs had been frequenting such areas for years without creating any significant health or safety issue.